Where do sandstorms happen?

Sandstorms will originate in places that have very loose soil, causing massive amounts of dirt and sand to fly in the air when high winds pick up. Now depending on the size and type of storm that has picked up all the lose soil, the sand and dirt can be carried a mile to hundreds of miles away. A great example of this was the Dustbowl that occurred from 1930 to 1936. The Dustbowl affected 100,000,000 acres. Main causes of loose top soil are drought and extensive farming without crop rotation. Areas that are in a drought and/or farming communities are the most likely places for sandstorms to occur.

Why do sandstorms happen?

This wind is usually caused by convection currents is usually strong enough to move entire sand dunes. Air is unstable when heated, and this instability in the air will cause the mixture of higher winds in the troposphere with winds in the lower atmosphere, producing strong surface winds. Sandstorms can interfere with travel, and sometimes obliterates entire roads, and dry, flat regions, such as parts of the western United Sates. In Kuwait, the month of April is known as ‘sandstorm month’. Sandstorms that come from Northern Africa and drift across Europe are called ‘Sahara Sand Storms’.
The Middle East is one of the regions most affected by dust, in the world, next to Africa. Dust or sand storms are caused by the outflow from low-pressure cells passing through a desert area from west to east. Sand storms can occur throughout the year in the Middle East, but the prime months are May-September.



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